Author Topic: Case Report,Sep/22: Single Dose of Phenobarbital for Inpatient Mgmt of Benzo W/D  (Read 330 times)


The full title of this American case report is "The Use of a Single Dose of Phenobarbital for Inpatient Management of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal: A Case Report".


Introduction: The current standard of care for physiological dependence to benzodiazepines requires prolonged outpatient tapers, which present challenges for patients and providers. Novel protocols for accelerated benzodiazepine tapers are needed. We describe a case of successful management of benzodiazepine withdrawal in the inpatient setting using a single, loading dose of phenobarbital with adjunctive valproate therapy.

Case report: A 61-year-old woman with benzodiazepine use disorder using 3 to 4 mg of alprazolam daily presented to an inpatient medically supervised withdrawal unit requesting discontinuation of all benzodiazepines and other recreational substances by the time of discharge. Benzodiazepine withdrawal was treated with a single, loading dose of intravenous phenobarbital in line with an approved protocol for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal, as well as adjunctive valproate therapy. The patient experienced resolution of withdrawal symptoms, had no complications, and ongoing abstinence at 60 days of follow-up.

Discussion: A single loading dose of phenobarbital in the inpatient setting is a viable alternative to prolonged outpatient tapers for the management of benzodiazepine withdrawal. Although this strategy requires further optimization, the prospect of a single-dose treatment for benzodiazepine withdrawal creates exciting opportunities for alternative management options and settings.

Conclusions: This case describes the successful management of benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome using a single loading dose of intravenous phenobarbital derived from an approved protocol for alcohol withdrawal syndrome.
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